Saturday, May 23, 2009

Real Cyborgs

man with tongue sticking out and prosthetic eye on his tongue
Interesting article from "Meet the real-life human cyborgs" about individuals who are incorporating technology into their bodies. The most interesting part of the article deals with a film maker who had a camera embedded into his prosthetic eye. It goes on to talk about the research being done to use similar technology to assist individuals who are blind or visually impaired see. It also talks about an individual who has a usb drive built into their finger and use of other robotic prosthetics (see video below).

"Rob Spence is making a point, too. As the Toronto film maker explains: "I am a filmmaker who lost an eye so naturally I decided to modify my prosthetic eye into a video camera. I am not a lifecaster. I will use the eye-cam the same way I use a video camera now - or the same way any filmmaker would use a camera enabled cell phone."
Spence is working on a documentary "about how video and humanity intersect, especially with regards to surveillance."
Rob Spence's eye uses a camera sensor developed by OmniVision, which specialises in high quality cameras for medical devices such as endoscopes. The firm is also working closely with Stanford University's Daniel Palanker on the Retinal Prosthesis project, a hugely complex and ambitious attempt to use sub-retinal implants to restore blind people's sight.
As an OmniVision spokesperson told us, the firm "agreed to participate in the project to jump-start and/or fuel research to provide vision for the blind."
Palanker has published a number of scientific papers detailing the project, and they make fascinating reading. In Design of a high-resolution optoelectronic retinal prosthesis [PDF] he explains how "an image from a video camera is projected by a goggle-mounted collimated infrared LED-LCD display onto the retina, activating an array of powered photodiodes in the retinal implant." Essentially the digital eye enables the blind to see again."

Full Article

Image courtesy of gainesvegas

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1 comment:

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